ICS Urges EU Member States To Work With Iranian Authorities To Secure Safe Passage
On July 19, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) jointly urge immediate action by the international community to stop the escalation of tensions and fully respect international law following the seizure of the oil tanker ‘Stena Impero’.
In respect to the Freedom of Navigation enshrined in Article 87(1)a and the Right of Innocent Passage defined in Article 19 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) all countries should ensure the safe passage of merchant vessels.
“Freedom of Navigation is vital for global trade and is a fundamental principle of international maritime law. Seafarers and ships must be allowed to operate in safety, and it is simply not acceptable for them to be used as bargaining counters in any way,” said Guy Platten, ICS Secretary-General.
“The Strait of Hormuz is the only route in and out of the Gulf, and one of the critical shipping lanes for Asian countries that also connects Europe and Asia. We, therefore, urge all countries to completely secure the safe passage by respecting the freedom of navigation and the right of innocent passage as enshrined in the UNCLOS, and to push for a complete de-escalation of tensions in the region.” said Ang Chin Eng, ASA Secretary-General.
The ‘Stena Impero’ is a British flagged vessel, owned by a Swedish company with a multinational crew, and appears to have been detained illegally while transiting an international strait. Therefore, the situation requires a diplomatic solution in order for the business to return to normal as soon as possible.
ICS, ECSA and ASA will continue to work with all relevant authorities to ensure the safety of merchant shipping in the region representing the global and regional shipping industries.